Not Sunni, not Shi’a, just Bahraini

This is what the 14th February Revolution in Bahrain was based on.  This is what the placards read.  Holding these placards was reason enough to the arrested, expelled or dismissed.  Yet it’s the message that the Bahraini people continue to give – this revolution in not based on sectarianism but fairness and democracy.

Last Friday a huge rally was held in Ma’ameer – a very poor village surrounded by industry and pollution.  Here the leaders of the two main opposition parties spoke.  It is worth reading the summaries of their speeches.  What I continue to find inspiring and extraordinary is the ongoing commitment to reform through peaceful, non-violent protest.  This fact is not highlighted enough.  In the history of the world, this revolution will stand out as one of perseverance and commitment through non-violence.

The following is an extract from Aljalil Khalid from the Al Wefaq Party.   

“Our revolution is not sectarian, and enough playing with the false sectarian allegations. Those are funny claims and are a means to run away from facing the people’s demands.”

– “All the wise people in the Arab world know that. The writer Mohamed Hussanein Heikal said that Bahrainis are oppressed, and [former Secretary-General of the Arab League] Amr Moussa said that the change is coming and nothing can stop it.

– “To all our Suni brothers, do not listen to the untruthful voices, this revolution is for all the people and does not raise any sectarian agenda.”

– “Our demands are clear, we demand an elected government, a council with full power, fair election circles, an independent judiciary, and security for all. Are those demands only for Shites without Sunis?

– “This is a letter to all the truthful people, let’s all put our hands together for a better Bahrain.”

In his speech,Isa Ebrahim of the Waad Party talked of the Manama Document which is a joint document prepared by the opposition political groups.  This document spells out the decades long push for democracy and the demands of the Bahraini people.  It is time the west supported the Bahraini people in achieving these demands.

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